Nearly a year ago — Nov. 8, 2018 — the results of the 2018 election caused the opinion editor of this page such anguish that he wrote in frustration, “Yes, it pains us to say that the dear commonwealth that produced ... Washington ... Jefferson ... and Madison no longer hews to instinctive conservatism.”

Since the three gentlemen mentioned were all slaveholders, one might interpret the editors comments to mean he pined for “the good old days” that stretched from the Civil War to the 1960s, the period that encompassed the Jim Crow era. But since the 2018 election produced so many new women legislators in Virginia, he was more likely fondly mulling over Feb. 12, 1920, when “instinctively conservative” Virginia men voted not to ratify the 19th Amendment. Yes, those Virginians were so instinctively conservative, they pouted another 32 years (1952), when Virginia finally caught up to the rest of the country by also ratifying a woman’s right to vote.

But alas, all was not in vain. Those conservatives were an inspiration to the editor. This past year he has filled his editorials with cautionary tales of how four women of color are leading our country to ruin. Democrat Jennifer Wexton, who wrested the 10th District from the editor’s conservative favorite, has been blackballed from his columns. And then, on Oct. 21, his page put women in their place by denigrating the most accomplished woman in America.

Using editorial by proxy, in this case a political cartoon he chose to print, the editor’s instinctive conservatism again surfaced as he allowed his page to depict the first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as an out-of-control child thrashing around on the floor.

The previous week’s events must have led to the editor’s desperation. Accomplished women from the White House and the State Department defied administrative (Trump) directives and testified before the House’s impeachment inquiry. Also, two women proved they were able to walk in space without a man holding their hands. But what must have really riled the editor was the iconic photo of Speaker Pelosi standing in a room full of men reprimanding the president for acting like a petulant child. (Thus what appears to be projection in the political cartoon)

In the 2019 election Virginians are again being asked to choose between instinctive conservatism and progressive thought. The Republican candidates for Virginia House and Senate seats do not believe the Equal Rights Amendment should be brought to the floor for a vote even though the amendment would prohibit discrimination based on gender.

They also support bills that would deny reproductive choice for Virginia women. Votes for Democrats Irina Khanin (House), Wendy Gooditis (House), Mavis Taintor (House), and Ronnie Ross (Senate) will ensure Virginia keeps progressing forward, not “instinctively” regressing back to a time one hopes has been left behind forever.

Donald Sears is a resident of Frederick County.

(17) comments


The Open Forum has been a venue for all to speak freely and unobstructed since its inception in Roman times. Here in Frederick County we don’t have an Open Forum, we have a conservative forum. The cartoon at the top of the page sets the conservative stage daily by making fun of progressives and democrats. I submitted my last letter a few months ago and, as usual, the title was changed and a subtitle was added. The revision diminished the seriousness of my letter and mocked my subject. My letter did not match the editor’s opinions so, it was changed. Of course, I expressed my grievance to the Star and they ignored it. Conservativism in Frederick County is slowly vanishing and the Star is following it over the cliff.


You wish.


I don't think Katie Hill, a US representative from California, is helping your cause any. She's a progressive Democrat, believing in rights for everyone. Until nude photos of her surfaced, with her lady lover, her, & her husband. Oh, also the tattoo of the German swastika on her abdomen, is that progressive enough for you? How can Trump denigrate women when they are choosing to do it to themselves?

Spock Here

She resigned after the photos surfaced. I guess she didn't think she was denigrating herself anymore than all the men who have been discovered in similar situations?


So that makes it ok? Women finally reaching these positions & they're behaving just as badly, so that's what they bring? You are missing my point, they can be better than that.

Spock Here

I did not say it was ok, and both men and women can be better than that. Many examples of men on both sides of the aisle, yet you pick the one woman, who promptly resigned. So far, Men 300, women 1. Exaggerated numbers, but seriously?


Geez Spock I realize this can go on forever, comments I mean, the forum was speaking of progressive women, I gave that example, because now that women are holding these positions, they can do better. I'm not so bored I'll keep commenting all night, or daily, for that matter, have a nice evening.


At least she has an interesting life.


It wasn't a swastika. And really, she and her husband were in a consensual relationship with another woman. So what? It's not that different than Jerry Falwell, Jr., his wife and the pool boy.


Yes. Pelosi sometimes acts like a child submitting or cavinf in to the whim of AOC and the likes. Todays democtars are not the democratic party of old. I don't mean slavery and suffrage which have been long gone. Get over it, the bias you say exists is of your own agenda. Done need not worry about the county elections as norther virginia override your vote anyway.

Ps. Missed ya Slowe, needed to hear real debatable questions submitted even though we disagree. Thats what our great country is about. All remember to vote in November your preference needs to be heard no matter which way you go. KAG 2020

Spock Here

When did Pelosi cave into AOC--a back bencher? GAG2020


Well, for one, the resolution and vote on Omar's antisemitic speech?

Spock Here

Honestly all I recall is a letter condemning the speech.? AOC has blasted Pelosi a few times, notably for not beginning impeachment soon enough to suit some progressives, and for her border bill vote, where Nancy "caved" to Trump


The resolution was initially condemnatory of Omar’s anti-semitic remarks, then was moved to condemnation in general, then, under squad-generated uproar, was changed to a condemnation of hateful speech in general.


Thank you. Well said. Instinctive conservatism is too often on display in this newspaper and by its Editor. Winchester and Frederick County deserve other points of view. The STAR should become less biased, more even handed, more “fair and balanced”. An Editorial board from both sides, progressive and conservative. Conservatism is our bane. It is regressive, backward looking, and retards betterment. It fears change. It must be voted out of political office and rejected as the norm in our newspapers and by opinion setters.


Ain't you heard, Capt'n? Newspapers have editorials that take sides. The WP and the NYT certainly take sides....liberal sides...but you probably just think they are being fair and balanced. You would probably think Chairman Mao was progressive. Maybe even Uncle Joe Stalin. They sure thought they were. I'm not sure their tens upon tens of millions of victims thought "progress" worth such a cost.

Spock Here

The difference is those papers have conservative op ed sections as well, but agree with the broader point. Homey town newspapers are either way right or way left.

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